NAMM 2024: “The chance to succeed at building a classic sounding fuzz pedal”: Jack White’s Third Man Hardware just hopped on the DIY pedal train with the Fuzz-a-Tron – and it’s even cheaper than the JHS Notaklön

Third Man Hardware Fuzz-a-Tron
(Image credit: Third Man Hardware)

NAMM 2024: DIY effects pedal kits are having a bit of a “thing” at the moment, and now Jack White’s boutique pedal brand, Third Man Hardware, has joined by the hype train by debuting its own build-it-at-home fuzz pedal, the Fuzz-a-Tron.

Though not a new concept, the popularity of pedal kits reached unprecedented heights in late 2023 following the release of the JHS Pedals Notaklön

At only $99, the solderless Klon clone was one of the most affordable kits on the market, and was met with rave reviews from across the guitar world. Indeed, we tested one ourselves, and found the hype to be fully justified.

Catalinbread Effects quickly got in on the action with the Knight School Overdrive, and now Third Man Hardware – an elite pedal maker known for its premium releases and high-profile collaborations – has issued its own attempt at helping players become pedal makers with a kit of its very own.

While the Fuzz-a-Tron would be noteworthy in of itself, the price tag makes this release even more significant: it’s only $75.

Third Man Hardware Fuzz-a-Tron

(Image credit: Third Man Hardware)

At that price, not only is it poised to be one of the most affordable fuzz units out there, it’s also comfortably more affordable than its DIY pedal kit competitors, undercutting both the $99 JHS Notaklön and $85 Knight School Overdrive.

To that end, Third Man Hardware has made a serious statement with the Fuzz-a-Tron, and while it might not have the same social media exposure that JHS Pedals offerings enjoy, its DIY fuzz looks, on paper, like it could be extremely popular.

Sure, it’s a completely different beast to the Notaklön and Knight School, but when you think of White’s tone, you usually think of fuzz, and so a White-approved option effect (that you can build yourself) – for only $75 – makes for a seriously enticing prospect.

Unlike the Notaklön, the Fuzz-a-Tron requires some soldering, but Third Man Hardware says it has been designed with “the beginner in mind” and requires “little or no soldering experience”.

A QR code for online instructions is included for making sense of the various circuit board and electronic components, with the pedal also offering a Third Man sticker pack for cosmetic customization.

Third Man Hardware Fuzz-a-Tron

(Image credit: Third Man Hardware)

With a design eerily similar to the pioneering Maestro Fuzz-Tone, the Fuzz-a-Tron looks to be as easy to operate as supposedly is to assemble. 

Once assembled, there will be just two parameters – the self-explanatory Tone and Volume – as well as a sole bypass footswitch. In practice, it is said to provide an ambiguous “classic sounding fuzz” effect.

This is the latest notable release from Third Man Hardware this NAMM week, after it finally revealed the result of its collaboration with Donner: an affordable, three-in-one multi-effects pedal.

As for DIY pedals, it looks as though they weren’t part of a fleeting trend: all signs point towards their continued resurgence into this year and beyond.

To find out more, head over to Third Man Hardware.

To keep up to date with all gear releases ahead of NAMM 2024, head over to our guide to the latest NAMM 2024 news.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.